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The same is true of the Temple Scroll, in which the passages that discuss the same topic in a number of places in the Torah are concentrated, along with their interpretation and completion in the spirit of the laws and views prevalent among the Judean Desert sect.

All this, however, was done in a rewriting of the Torah's words, as the direct, first-person, command of God, in sharp contrast with the differentiation in the tannaitic literature between the quoted verses and their interpretation.

The Qumran Pesher literature provides an example of quoted verses in lemmas alongside their interpretation, but this is only for subjects pertaining to philosophic, ethical, or political actualization of the books of the prophets, and not of halakhic topics that appear in the Torah, as it is in the A rare trace of an early rabbinic midrash, that apparently consists solely of quoted verses and their adjoining interpretation, by means of other verses, can be found in the homiletical expansion of "My father was a fugitive Aramean" (Deut. A few instances of the quotation of a verse and the presentation of its halakhic interpretation-exposition, along with the mention of alternative interpretations and their rejection, exist in the New Testament, but, obviously, these literature exhibits a distinctly independent nature, that fundamentally differs from biblical literature: (1) unlike the Judean Desert scrolls, it does not present its interpretation as the absolute and unequivocal word of God, but rather as reasoned human interpretation of the verses of the Torah, that exposes the philological and theological difficulties that emerge from Scripture; (2) in contrast with those scrolls, that offer a consistent and uniform conception, the are written in pithy rabbinic language, while the Judean Desert scrolls employ language that more closely resembles that of the Bible, both in its grammar and in its lofty and dramatic style; (4) the great halakhic detailing of the in comparison with the Bible, is vastly more developed than that in the scrolls; (5) in many instances the content of the halakhot set forth in the tannaitic literature is more removed from the simple meaning of the biblical halakhah than that of the Judean Desert scrolls.

It is noteworthy, in this context, that in the second branch of the tannaitic literature, the Mishnah and the Tosefta, the halakhah is ordered in a completely new structure, that does not follow the sequence of the corresponding passages in the Torah.

This body of tannaitic literature will be discussed below under the following headings: (1) Characteristics of Halakhic Midrash: (a) The Collections; (b) The Term Halakhic Midrash; (c) Literary Nature and Relation to Early Midrash; (d) Authority of the Bible; (e) Development of Exegetical Methods. Aside from the unlikelihood that the redactors of a school for the exegesis of the Torah would begin their activity with the Book of Numbers, or would be satisfied with midrashim on the Books of Exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy, support for the existence of additional baraitot that are preserved in other compositions, most importantly, the Tosefta and the two Talmuds.

Generally, the order of the interpreted biblical passages precisely follows the order of the verses in the Bible, and only on rare occasions do the midrashim diverge from the biblical order.

The midrashim are written in Mishnahic Hebrew, and are formulated concisely, in a reserved and focused style.

The above literary qualities are unique to the tannaitic midrashim.

The earlier exigetical literature contains glimmerings and beginnings of this sort of midrashic method, but such a consistent and developed body of work appears for the first time in Signs of the attempt to resolve the seeming conflict between the authority of the Torah, on the one hand, and its actualization and harmonization, on the other, can already be found in the Bible itself, especially in Chronicles, where these attempts were made by a paraphrastic reformulation of the verses of the biblical verses themselves.

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